Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Run Filled With Dispair

Thursday, I had my scheduled long run of 18-miles. The weather was cold and windy, but I felt comfortable with my cold gear, so I headed out. During the week, I spend my time in NE Pennslyvania, quite hilly/mountainous (for these parts) terrain. I have generally found this running tough, but beneficial.

This long run started out okay. I was moving along at a good clip and maintaining my pace well. However at the 9 mile mark, I turned to head back and this is where the mental and physical beating began. The first 9 were primarily downhill miles, so I was prepared for the 9 back up the hill (about 1000ft climb). What I was not prepared for was the wind in my face, the darkness of the evening, how fast my energy drained as I climbed. Add to this the remoteness of the countryside, I felt alone against a seemingly unsurmountable task.

I have to say this was the toughest training run I've ever done. It was the ultimate test in will power. From mile 14 on, I fought for every step, had to dig deeper and had some very lonely moments where I contemplated giving up. At the steepest climb, I did briskly walk for about .25 miles. My spirit was crushed. The hills, wind, darkness and cold had defeated me.

I finished well below the pace I was targeting, and for what I should have been easily able to accomplish.

Mileage: 18.00
Time/Pace: 2:58:26/9:54
Avg HR/Max HR: 141/158
Elevation: 1430ft
T/W: 20's (wc 6), wind

What doesn't kill you...

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